That Sense Of Style

23 June 2004

I’ve come to admire people who can crank out skins for their web sites at will. You Can’t Get There From Here has a new skin. Shelley Powers has been really busy creating new styles for her site. She’s even got two groups – static and dynamic. I haven’t a clue what the distinction is.

I’m still fighting a mental block with things like the width of text areas and sidebars. Is it the CSS that’s setting these widths or is it something in the XHTML? Until I understand simple things like this, I suspect style-changing is way over my head. There’s even some possibility that the choice of switchers is dependent upon which weblog tool you’re using. My interests are Textpattern, Movable Type and WordPress. Do they require different switchers?

The style switchers that are used are also puzzling. My first exposure to ”skinning” or style switching was based upon this tutorial. I believe lots of the Movable Type sites were using this technique. Then, there is the CSS Zen Garden and the customized style switcher that is used there. It seems to me that this site uses a PHP style switcher which means it is ”server-side.” The code that makes the switch of styles is actually run at the server (I think).

At Jeffrey Zeldman’s site there are three links – here’s #1, here’s #2 and here’s #3 – to information about understanding client-side style switching. I may be wrong again, but I perceive that these techniques involve javascript, which makes the change a client-side switch.

I haven’t the slightest clue which is better or why. I couldn’t begin to tell anyone why CSS Zen Garden uses one technique for switching while uses another. [If someone knows and can explain it in nongeekspeak, I’m all ears.]

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  1. Lorraine    23 June 2004, 20:51    #